College: Liberal Arts & Sciences
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Research Interests: Radio astronomy; x-ray astronomy; observational study of interstellar medium and galactic center
TILE course: Origins of Life in the Universe
Ph.D., University of California - Los Angeles, 2000 .
Associate Professor Cornelia Lang has been on the faculty at the University of Iowa since the fall of 2012 in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. She studied Physics & Astronomy at Vassar College and got her PhD in Astronomy from University of California, Los Angeles, in 2000. As an astronomer, her research focuses on understanding the astrophysics of the very center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Because visible light from this region of our Galaxy is obscured from our view, Professor Lang uses radio and infrared and x-ray telescopes to understand how stars form, the role of magnetic fields and how stars and gas interact in this very extreme part of the Galaxy. She involves both graduate and undergraduate students in her research, and she usually takes students with her to observe at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory site in New Mexico every summer.
At University of Iowa, Professor Lang most often teaches the large introductory lecture courses for non-science majors. Professor Lang also teaches advanced undergraduate courses in Radio Astronomy (where students get the chance to work with real data) or the graduate course entitled, "Galaxies in the Universe". In 2007, she was awarded the Collegiate Teaching Award. Recently, she and a colleague transformed the introductory astronomy laboratory curriculum to include active-learning style activities and they also updated the lab rooms to include team desks and white boards to encourage student participation in class. This past year, Professor Lang been awarded a Student Success Award (through the Provost's Office) to develop a new multi-disciplinary course for undergraduates which will be taught in the large TILE classroom on campus. The course title is "Origins of Life in the Universe" and it is a year-long course to be offered starting in Fall 2013.